The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a solid offseason so far signing Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger and giving a offer to the massive Montenegrin center Nikola Pekovic. The Timberwolves don’t have that much money left to sign big name free agents but can sign players to make an impact off the bench. The Timberwolves are showing they aren’t done signing other free agents after waiving Greg Stiemsma and Mickael Gelabale. These two were not key pieces during last season would have hurt the development of Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng if they stayed in Minnesota and ate up their minutes.
One good move Minnesota should make is trading Luke Ridnour. An ideal landing spot for Ridnour would be the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have just entered a rebuilding stage, and after trading away many of their veteran players, getting a veteran who can still be a threat from behind the arc is essential and Luke Ridnour fits the bill perfectly. The Celtics do not have a point guard on their roster besides Rajon Rondo and Ridnour would be a nice backup for Rondo. The Timberwolves should look to get MarShon Brooks out of this deal as he is a young player with a good shot and is an above average defender. Brooks was used sparingly by the Nets last season only averaging 12.5 mpg, 5.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg. Brooks is only 24 years old and has only been in the league two years and is not anywhere close to his full potential. Brooks brings two things to the Timberwolves that they sorely lacked last year: athleticism and three point shooting. Brooks is a great athlete and a solid three point shooter. Brooks would be a nice backup for Kevin Martin and would receive more playing time in Minnesota where he could grow to his full potential.
The Timberwolves are a young team who needs a few veterans on it with playoff experience. Most Timberwolves fans are fed up with Derrick Williams who was drafted second overall and would like to see him shipped out. Williams can be a good player but nobody is sure if he will ever reach his full potential, which he showed in college ball. On the other hand the Bucks have an aging frontcourt in Ersan Ilyasova and Samuel Dalembert and are looking to provide playing time for their frontcourt of the future in Larry Sanders and John Henson. Williams would fit nicely with the Bucks and is a similar player to Henson and Sanders as athletic frontcourt players. The Timberwolves need three point shooting. Ilyasova shot 44% from behind the arc last season which is a spectacular number. Ilyasova is a tweener and at 6’10 can play either forward position, and in small ball he can play the five. Ilyasova averaged 27.2 mpg, 13.2 ppg, and 7.1 rpg. Ilyasova is similar to Kevin Love as both of these players can shoot the lights out and grab rebounds. Gorgui Dieng and Ersan Ilyasova would be an interesting duo off the bench, could complement each other well, and could round out a solid second unit for Minnesota.
The Wolves need to trade Luke Ridnour or JJ Barea. It would be best for the Wolves to trade Ridnour as Barea is instant offense and has the ability to put up 15 points in a quarter. If the Wolves cannot find a suitor for Ridnour here is a deal the Magic and Wolves could pull off. JJ Barea and Dante Cunningham to the Magic for Arron Afflalo and Kyle O’Quinn. Arron Afflalo hasn’t quite got back to playing the level he did in Denver but is still a solid player who can hit the three. Afflalo has a career 38% from behind the arc and averaged 16.5 ppg. He could replace Barea’s instant offense off the bench and could help the Wolves win games. Cunningham and O’Quinn are throw in pieces to make the salaries even and will likely be role players that would come in at the power forward position and be asked to grab a few rebounds and not much else.
All in all, each of these trades would benefit both teams involved and while these trades aren’t groundbreaking, the NBA is made up of role players and they are extremely important to every NBA team. These trades would help the Timberwolves solidify their bench and would be smart moves to make this offseason.